Chapter

Erosion of Secular Principles

Flavia Agnes

in Law and Gender Inequality

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195655247
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081189 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195655247.003.0007
Erosion of Secular Principles

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This chapter evaluates the extent to which the state adhered to the principle of a unified secular family law. It explains that the first departure of the state from the declared objective was the codification of the Hindu family law followed by the enactment of special laws for its Hindu citizens. During the decades that followed, the state moved further away from its declared objective of a uniform and secular family law. In several instances, the vested, patriarchal and community interests of the influential sections superseded the rights of women and children. This chapter also discusses efforts to constrain the scope of civil marriage law, the Shah Bano controversy, the Muslim Women’s Bill, and the efforts to constrain the scope of Civil Marriage Law.

Keywords: secular family law; Hindu family law; special laws; Hindu citizens; rights of women; rights of children; Shah Bano controversy; Muslim Women’s Bill; Civil Marriage Law

Chapter.  6569 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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